Nov 15, 2021Haiti among new countries eligible for the H-2A, H-2B visa programs
The Department of Homeland Security announced Nov. 9 that it was reinstating Haiti in the H-2A and H-2B guest worker visa programs for the coming year, which allows farmers, hotel workers and other laborers to apply for temporary work in the U.S.
Haiti is among six new countries whose nationals are now eligible. The notice listing the countries was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 10.
“The Department of Homeland Security is committed to working with our interagency partners to ensure that companies in the United States can fill temporary or seasonal jobs for which U.S. workers are not available,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas in a news release. “Adding these six new countries will enable their nationals to apply for temporary work in the United States.”
With this notice, the Secretary of Homeland Security, with concurrence of the Secretary of State, has decided to:
- Add Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Cyprus, the Dominican Republic (currently only eligible for H-2A), Haiti, Mauritius and Saint Lucia to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs; and
- Remove Moldova as an eligible country for the H-2A visa program because it no longer meets the regulatory standards for that program. However, Moldova’s eligibility for the H-2A program remains effective until Jan. 18, 2022, a full year from the last designation.
In total, nationals from 85 countries will be eligible to participate in the H-2A program and nationals from 86 countries will be eligible to participate in the H-2B program in the coming year.
USCIS may, in its discretion, approve H-2A and H-2B petitions (including those that were pending as of the date of the Federal Register notice), for nationals of countries not on the list of approved countries on a case-by-case basis if doing so would be in the interest of the United States, in accordance with DHS regulations. Eligibility determinations will be made according to all the relevant factors and evidence presented in the case.